There is something magical about piling sugary food on top of sugary food on top of sugary food. It certainly sounds magical, right?
I first experienced 7-Layer bars/Hello Dolly Bars/Whatever-You-Want-To-Call-Them Bars when they graced our Christmas table just a few years ago. Melissa's friend, Jen, is also part of a cookie-making family (they are famous amongst the Medoways).
One of the baked goods they brought were 7-Layer Bars. In other words, an irresistible conglomeration of graham crackers, chocolate, coconut, and so much more.
I had never actual made the bars myself--or anything similar--but I had fallen in love.
Luckily enough, a few weeks ago I found a can of sweetened condensed milk for sale in a store on campus. I knew that I would be able to use it some how--whether that meant putting it in a baked good or just eating it out of the can with a spoon.
I decided to make some layer bars and found out that there are probably a thousand variations. I don't do well with options. I think a full hour of my life was spent deciding what bars would be best at pleasing my tastes as well as my friends'.
I decided on a 5-Layer Bar that I found on Cookie Madness. I was similarly intrigued by the addition of cocoa powder into the graham cracker crumbs.
I had to improvise, as usual, because I lacked the proper ingredients. Neither CVS nor Whole Foods appears to sell peanut butter chips (God, I can't wait to get back to Wegmans). So, I just dolloped some peanut butter on top instead.
That resulted in a very bubbly departure from the oven. But not to worry, the peanut butter works fine as a substitution, even if it makes the final product look like a witch's brew.
I also added a pinch of salt to the graham mixture, because I'm of the opinion that salt should pretty much always be added to sweet foods. Feel free to leave it out though.
Five friends and I have already managed to eat 3/4 of the 9x13 pan in under 30 minutes.